The Sewing Place

Looms and Weaving in General

Ploshkin

Looms and Weaving in General
« on: October 31, 2020, 16:22:21 PM »
Ever since Celia posted a picture of her Inkle weaving loom I have been looking at weaving stuff.  I've always wanted to be able to weave but have never had the space for a loom (or so I thought)
I have already discovered that table looms come in many sizes and it is possible to weave some sensible sized stuff without a humongous piece of furniture.  I definitely intend starting but it will have to wait until completion of our building works.  My sewing room will be the first bit to get painted!  In the meantime I can research.

So, apart from @Celia and @BriarRose are there any other closet weavers out there?
How and when did you start weaving, how did you learn, and what do you weave?

Everything I read suggests that a rigid heddle loom is the best thing to start with.  I understand that the next thing 'up' from that is a loom with shafts but I can't for the life if me work out which bits 'shafts' refers to or what they do  -  I know that you can weave patterns if you have shafts.

So, can anyone recommend the best sort and size of loom to start with and the best type of yarn for first attempts.  Also what is a good source of instruction.
Do I need an inkle loom to scratch the itch before I can get started?

Life's too short for ironing.

Lowena

Re: Looms and Weaving in General
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2020, 16:30:02 PM »
I'm following this as I have always fancied weaving.
I don't think I have enough room though :thinking:
Triumph of hope over experience :D

BlueCat

Re: Looms and Weaving in General
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2020, 17:32:33 PM »
I bought a 16” rigid heddle loom about a year ago, and I love it.
I have made scarves, both in plain weave and ‘Saori’ art style, using all kinds of yarns, ribbons, etc.
I find it very relaxing, and much quicker to produce something than knitting or crochet.
When I eventually get my craft room, I can see me wanting a (small) floor model.
Just  a few of the ones I have made so far...
https://pin.it/3qx1uAa

Ploshkin

Re: Looms and Weaving in General
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2020, 17:57:24 PM »
Those are gorgeous @BlueCat  now I am even more enthused!
Life's too short for ironing.

WendyW

Re: Looms and Weaving in General
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2020, 21:41:09 PM »
Weaving has always fascinated me. I had a potholder loom as a child, and both my grandma's got well-supplied with pot-holders. I had opportunities as a teen to experience basic table-top looms and a full-size loom and thought they were really cool. I have never had the space for a full size loom, and always figured it would never get enough use to justify the cost. Other than sewing, I am a dabbler in all things crafty, and that's just way beyond my "dabble" budget. I got a couple table-top looms at a garage sale some years ago, and was disappointed in those. The one weaving thing that has stuck with me through the years is tablet or card weaving, for making belts/straps/trims. I have both a back-strap loom and a table-top loom for that, both homemade. Unfortunately I have never done it consistently enough to really get good at it, so every time I go back to it I have to start over at the beginning.

mudcat

Re: Looms and Weaving in General
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2020, 22:53:57 PM »
I also want to take it up.  I will start small though. I have one Craftsy weaving course I bought a while ago that was pretty good.

Celia

Re: Looms and Weaving in General
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2020, 10:28:11 AM »
@BriarRose  just sending this to you so you can find us, would love to hear more about your looms and I think everyone else on here would too.

I will post a bit more detail about the looms I have later if anyone is interested

Lowena

Re: Looms and Weaving in General
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2020, 10:33:18 AM »
I'm definitely interested @Celia
Triumph of hope over experience :D

Renegade Sewist

Re: Looms and Weaving in General
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2020, 12:19:53 PM »
You know how some of you are with sewing machines?  Those are my looms, somewhere in the vicinity of 8 to 10.

I haven't done anything recently and keep threatening to "when I find time". You know how that goes.

BriarRose

Re: Looms and Weaving in General
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2020, 16:19:48 PM »
Don't let the lack of a "proper" loom put you off starting a project. One can weave on anything that can hold warp threads, from a giant industrial loom to a forked branch off a tree.

My favorite carry-it-around loom is a plain frame made from four artist stretcher bars. It can be warped in a figure eight pattern for a single sided weaving or in a straight round and round way so I can weave on both sides of the frame. In the second instance, I do a weaving on each side, then when both are done, take them off the frame, tie the warp ends off for fringe, and sew the two weavings into a bag.

I like primitive frames. I have a floor loom that belonged to a friend who died of cancer; her husband gave it to me so it would "have a good home." It is warped, but I haven't done anything with it. My main loom is a 60" high Navajo loom. This winter's project is a saddle blanket for my son. Most saddle blankets are twilled but I'm just going to weave stripes and maybe incorporate his brand into it as well. My friend Rita has a big floor loom and does the most amazingly intricate Scandinavian weaving on it- she's waaaay out of my class but says she will help me with my own floor loom once the current madness subsides.

A few years ago while I was still teaching belly dance, I bought a huge amount of ribbon to make ribbon skirts. I have used and given away piles of the stuff and still have more. I'd like to weave ribbon onto a bodice or yoke and have been sorting through my pattern stash in search of a suitable pattern.
It's just fabric. We can out-think it.

Celia

Re: Looms and Weaving in General
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2020, 23:18:48 PM »
Hi I am really glad this thread is going, I started with a rigid heddle loom, I first of all had a small Ashford sampler loom but a very old friend of mine wanted one and was not in a position to build it herself so I let her have mine as it was only very small 10 inch, I know have 2 rigid heddles
1. Ashford 12 inch knitters loom
2. Schacht 20 inch Flip loom

My latest loom is a 30cm 4 shaft Louet Erica table loom
https://www.weftblown.com/collections/schacht-rigid-heddle-looms/products/flip-rigid-heddle-loom?variant=39325638983

My Inkle loom is a home made one

If I was starting again I don’t know where I would start, I really love the new Erica but it is a bit of a leaning curve, the rigid heddles are easier to use. 

I didn’t want an Inkle to start with, a friend had one and I wasn’t that keen but then I saw some of the things you can do and after him in doors built me one I absolutely love it, I have just finished doing some straps for a bag and am about to start some curtain tie backs.

If you are just wanting to dabble to see how you get on don’t ignore the Inkle it is a fun loom to use, doesn’t take long to make something and also doesn’t need a big stock of yarns to do something.

If I can answer any questions please ask, I am no expert but have tried to learn as much as I can.

Ploshkin

Re: Looms and Weaving in General
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2020, 08:47:58 AM »
Thank you @Celia that is useful.
Please can you tell me what shafts are.  Are they a physical bit of the loom or is it an alternative term for sheds?  I always need to have a picture in my head to understand how things work and so far I don't have one for shafts.

I've already concluded that I will get a rigid heddle loom.  The one I have bookmarked is the Kromski Harp mainly because it comes in a good range of sizes, they are also fitted with a second heddle block.  I am leaning towards 24".  I know there's no point in me having a narrow one because after a very short time I'll be wishing I'd got a bigger one.  Once I've done the research and decided I want to do something I know that I will do it and stick at it.  I think my aim will be to eventually sew a garment made from cloth that I have woven but I don't see myself progressing to a big floor loom. 
What size heddle do you find the most useful (i.e. holes per inch)?
Life's too short for ironing.

Celia

Re: Looms and Weaving in General
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2020, 09:49:59 AM »
Hi @Ploshkin do be careful choosing such a large loom as it can be a mistake, after I let my friend have my little one I bought a 20 inch and found it not good for doing things like scarves etc and of course it also takes up more space and is not too easy to find the right position to use it in.

 I was lucky him indoors bought me my 12 inch knitters loom for a Christmas present and I found this much easier to learn on, I sold my 20 inch to a friend and only got a new 20 inch recently which is actually a different make and sits better on a table, now I love both of them, having said that I am already thinking I would like a bigger table loom, I would love a floor loom but I know that is never going to happen. :(

A 24 might be fine for you but do be aware of the size with relation to your arms and where it will sit.
Are you thinking of buying a stand for it? I had my problem because I could not hold the big loom against my stomach due to an op that went wrong years ago.

As for heddles and shafts they are similar but shafts are found on table and floor looms and are used for patterning, that’s the short answer. 

The size heddles you need will depend on the thickness of the yarn you want to use, I use a 10 or 12 more often as I have a lot of 4ply yarns.

Hope all that lot helps, any more I can help with please ask, I am really excited to find some fellow weavers, I have a shawl type cowl to finish off today and will post pictures when washed.

Ploshkin

Re: Looms and Weaving in General
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2020, 10:37:14 AM »
Thanks for that info @Celia  Practical experience is so much more valuable than salesperson's patter.
What was the difficulty with weaving narrow things on a wide loom?  Is it tension?
I hadn't thought about the arm movement thing so that's a very valid consideration.
I would definitely have it on a stand as space shouldn't be an issue.

By the way,  I'm only here because we're set up ready and waiting for the dipping man to arrive.
Life's too short for ironing.

Celia

Re: Looms and Weaving in General
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2020, 14:39:22 PM »
Yes @Ploshkin it is mainly the tension if you are doing a small project on a large RHL then it is very easy for the beat to become uneven.